Driving or cycling to France? Check your breakdown cover

car breakdown in Europe

If you’re one of five million British motorists heading to France this year, take time to brush up on local rules.

For example, the speed limit on French secondary roads – the two-lane highways that crisscross 400,000 km of the country – has been reduced to 80km/h.

The French government imposed the new limit to reduce road deaths, which reached nearly 3,500 in 2016. The change coincided with strict enforcement of speed limits on motorways – we’ve heard of drivers receiving fines at 2km over the 130km/h limit.

Driving in Europe

European breakdown cover from the ETA offers great value. And with English-speaking helplines and assistance available 24/7, help is always at hand should you break down abroad.

ETA Euro breakdown

Cycling to France

We launched Cycle Rescue as a breakdown recovery for cyclists over 30 years ago. It costs only £24 per year and covers you in Europe too.

cycle camping

Cycle Rescue covers you in France

Emissions sticker for driving in France

All cars travelling in 11 low emission French cities, including Paris, Lyon and Grenobles, are required to display anti-pollution ‘crit air’ stickers which indicate the age and environmental classification of the vehicle.

The system has been in place for 6 years, but has become stricter with the most polluting vehicles now restricted in some areas.

driving in France

The round stickers correspond to six different vehicle classes defined according to air pollutant emissions. In certain French cities the correct sticker must be displayed by every road vehicle, including those registered abroad.

How do I apply for the emissions stickers?

You can apply for a sticker through the French Air Quality Certification Service online here. Be sure to apply in good time as the stickers can take around 30 days to arrive. They only cost a few pounds and will save you the risk of being hit with an on-the-spot fine of €68.

French road signs

Can you identify these French road signs? It pays to brush up on local rules before setting off

Driving in France this summer?

For short-term driving trips in France, European breakdown cover from the ETA offers the best value for money on the market. With English-speaking helplines and assistance available 24/7 you can rest assured that help is at hand should you break down abroad.

The ethical choice

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance , breakdown cover and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.


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